Maan, unbeaten in
two sprint starts, is likely to make his stakes and route debut in the Gotham, Tom Morley, trainer Eddie Kenneally’s
Belmont Park-based assistant, said Friday.
Owned by Joseph W. Sutton, Maan debuted a 1 ½-length winner in July at
Churchill Downs and was taken to Saratoga Race Course for a possible start in
the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Saratoga Special before a growth spurt prompted
Kenneally to give the juvenile time off.
“When we bought him, he was a real sharp-looking 2-year-old type
of horse,” said Morley. “He broke his maiden at Churchill, and
Eddie had the Saratoga Special in mind for him. We took him to Saratoga, and the horse
grew and became a completely different animal. The best thing to do with him
was to turn him out and give him a break. He suddenly looked like he was going
to mature into a proper-looking horse, so Eddie decided to give him a little
break. Eddie is not afraid of doing that with nice horses. He’s very,
very patient, especially if he thinks they have a smart future in front of
In his seasonal bow, a 6 ½-furlong optional claimer contested in the
slop February 9 at Gulfstream
Park, Maan left from post
position 1 and rallied along the rail to prevail by a half-length.
“He ran a huge comeback race in Florida,” said Morley. “He did
not get a clean trip at all from the inside post, but showed a lot of guts and
a lot of class to win. We hope he can turn into a real nice horse.”
Morley said the Gotham is perfectly
timed to stretch out Maan and try him in a graded stakes.
“I think the horse has the class,” said Morley. “He
is a stakes horse, there’s no doubt about that. Will he stretch out?
There’s only one way to find out. He certainly didn’t seem to be
stopping at the end of his allowance win in Florida. It was a good indication that may
not be just a nice sprinter. To be a real good horse, you not only have to have
tactical speed but also the ability to stay. I don’t think a mile will be
a problem for the horse, but after that I don’t think anybody